What’s the Big Deal With The Secret?

If you have read The Secret, or if you’ve watched the DVD, then you know what it is trying to help us understand: that if we want something, all we have to do is believe we already have it and it will be ours. Sounds simple enough, right?

Here’s the problem: many people don’t even know what the heck they really want. They think they want a billion dollars. I used to think that was what I wanted. Then I slowly realized a very important detail: why did I want a billion dollars? Without the why, there really was no meaning, and therefore no passion or true belief that I would actually acquire the billion dollars. I didn’t really believe it, and I realize now that it’s because I really didn’t want it.

Wait, how could I not want a billion dollars? Actually, it’s pretty simple. The people that I’ve researched that have billions of dollars deal with daily interactions that when I’m being honest with my circumstances, and myself, I would never want to deal with. I want popularity, but I do not want to be a celebrity. To me, there is a huge difference. Celebrities are in the public eye even if they don’t want to be. Every intimate detail of their lives is shared with the world; even before they themselves have really had a chance to absorb the circumstances they are experiencing.

I don’t know of any billionaires that aren’t in the public eye. They all deal with public scrutiny. I don’t want to deal with that, really ever. I’m a naturally introverted person. I’m working on becoming more outgoing and friendly, but the fact remains that I more often would rather not be the center of attention. Being a social butterfly is not an innate skill for me. Having every detail of my life broadcast by other people without my permission, and without my having a chance to prepare for it first is just unappealing.

Seems counter-intuitive when considering the fact that I am revealing some very personal details on my own blog. But that’s precisely my point; I’m the one revealing them. I have full control over what I say and don’t say. I have the ability to leave details out. I’m not in the public eye, and I can keep most of my life private when I choose to. Losing that choice is not something I would like to do.

So being a billionaire is not what I really wanted. What I really wanted was freedom, enough wealth to do the things in life that I wanted to do, and the ability to expand my horizons and help others do great things in life. I am a coach. It’s the position I’m good at. I’m not a glory hound. I don’t like being the star player, but I love helping others be the star. It’s where I fit. Knowing that and accepting it has allowed me to focus on how I will apply that to my life and my goals. When I visualize my future, it is built around that as my foundation. It’s why I started a consulting firm, and why I’ve decided to expand my thoughts and writing here on my blog.

There Are Two Types of Reactions to the Law of Attraction

I have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I have read The Secret and watched the DVD. I have watched What the Bleep Do We Know!? and I have read Beyond the Bleep. I have read The Answer. I have read other books that base the foundation of their message on the Law of Attraction. I don’t know everything about it, but I feel confident in the basic principles of the idea.

Generally speaking, there are two types of reactions by people that are first introduced to The Secret or the Law of Attraction: 1) “This is awesome!” and 2) “This is total BS, and you’re a loser for believing in it.”

The first group typically tries to capitalize on the power of visualization and manifestation immediately. They will create vision-boards, and meditate for hours on end about the things they want. Most of them learn quickly that it doesn’t work that way. Sure, those are elements of what it takes; but they are not everything.

The second group is blind to the reality that this stuff does work; they are clouded by negative beliefs and by their own lack of success in the past. Interestingly, some of these people that say they don’t believe in these principles still enact them on a daily basis. For example, there are some athletes out there that do not believe in these principles when you ask them about them directly, but when worded differently it will be found that they actually do. This is evidenced by the fact that virtually all athletes set goals for themselves, they see themselves attaining those goals, and eventually, they do. The marketing-savvy packaging of movies and books that talk about this phenomenon clouds people’s ability to believe the messages contained within them – at least in the new-agey, feel-good way they are presented.

Others in the second group have simply chosen not to believe in these principles. They have intentionally chosen to accept whatever fate lies before them. They don’t make goals. They don’t strive for anything in particular. They simply go through life, going through the motions, without any sense of purpose or direction. They often ridicule others for dreaming of bigger things, and many times they find themselves in disbelief when they see others improving their lives around them while they stay exactly where they’ve always been.

To be blunt, I really have no desire to try and convert the non-believers. For me, that is not my place. Those that want more out of this life will naturally be drawn to these principles. If they happen to reach out to me, then I will share my experience and knowledge. Those that parade around trying to force these beliefs (or any beliefs for that matter) on others make the situation worse, and many times are pushing people further away from discovering their own truth and belief in the principles. No, I will share my beliefs with others, but I will never try and force those beliefs on them; that’s just egotistical.

I fall into the first group. I believe in these principles. Especially because I have seen them work directly in my own life and in the lives of others around me. I have experienced small successes (and some bigger successes) by integrating the principles into my life and beliefs.

What Using The Law of Attraction Has Done For Me So Far

Using the Law of Attraction is still an incredibly new and scary thing for me. I still really have no idea what I’m doing. I haven’t learned yet how to really harness the power of belief. That said; I have experienced some amazing transformations in my life since I learned the basic principles. From the time I was first introduced to What the Bleep Do We Know, to now, I have experienced the following positive circumstances in my life:

  1. I started my first, second, and third businesses.
  2. I earned more in one year as a businessperson than I had ever earned before.
  3. I met my now best friend.
  4. I met my wife.
  5. I gained a son.
  6. I doubled my income every year and am on track to double it this year.
  7. I have increasingly narrowed in on my true passion and purpose in life.
  8. I learned how to let go of my own disbeliefs (still working on this one).
  9. I went from living in a one-bedroom apartment and an old beat-up truck to living in a nice house with a nice car and other goodies.
  10. I went from having no ability to pay for insurance to being fully covered without fear of how I’m going to pay for it.

There are many, many more positives, but these are the first ten I could think of.

These Principles Are Not Just For “New-Agey” Types

Regardless of your personal belief system, these principles can be found through religious and philosophical texts. The bible describes this in multiple passages; the most common of which is paraphrased as “ask and you shall receive.” I’m not familiar enough with other religious texts to describe this principle being used in them, but I’ve been told it can be found fairly easily.

Even so-called atheists have the ability to believe in these principles. Though they require some level of faith, they are principles that are driven by the human spirit, by our conscious desires and actions. Many misconstrue the idea of belief and faith into something that has to be spiritual or religious. It doesn’t.

The Real Secret: Action

If I sit and dream about making $75,000 by March 1, 2011, but I don’t do anything else, chances are pretty solid that I won’t see anything near $75,000. However, if I put a few powerful components into action, I’ll have a pretty good chance of making it happen.

First, I find a way to visualize myself already having the money in my hand. This can be challenging to accomplish. Short of knowing a drug dealer with $75,000 just sitting in his closet that he is willing to let me near, I have to come up with something a bit more creative. For me, the solution was to write myself a check for $75,000 and date it March 1. In the memo, I reference how I made the money. Notice something important here, the memo is written in past tense (made – not make).

Second I write down the story of how I went from January to March 1 and made the $75,000. I write the words that will become the real-life story. I write it in past tense. I highlight all the details of the story, including the challenges that I faced and how I overcame those challenges. I write about what I did to earn the money and how it started coming in. I write about the work I had to put in to make it all happen. Then, I read my story every day, reminding myself how I did it, and then play out the actions in the story.

Action is the key to any success. We cannot simply wish things into existence; we have to make them happen ourselves. Even Aladdin couldn’t just wish himself a prince; he had to learn how to actually be a prince to be successful at it.

But It Doesn’t Work. (Without Belief)

I can already see the nay-sayers shaking their heads and I can hear them proclaiming, “yeah right, I tried that crap, it doesn’t work.” There are usually two reasons people don’t experience success with this: 1) they didn’t really believe (similar to my experience with wanting a billion dollars), or 2) they visualize something unrealistic. The Law of Attraction isn’t magic. It isn’t a genie in a bottle. It is the belief in an idea. Through that belief, we are able to motivate ourselves and pursue the idea without fear.

What’s the Worst Thing About Believing The Law of Attraction?

Other than the silly looks I might get when I share that I believe in this idea that seems so new-agey and full of boloney, the worst side effect I’ve experienced so far is a mildly better life. Even when I don’t get the things in life that I visualize myself getting, I’ve figured out I still get closer to those things when I focus on them.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

Les Brown had it right. That is a great way to aim in life. I have found that my personal rendition of  this perspective works really well when discussing the Law of Attraction and goals/visualization:

Shoot for the stars, and you’ll probably at least get to the moon.

Here’s my point: the worst thing that I’ve experienced with the Law of Attraction is not hitting the goal I went for, but I have always been better off for going for it. By aiming high, it doesn’t really matter if I actually hit the goal. Sure, that is what I really want to happen; but if it doesn’t, I realize that there is something deeper holding me back – my own disbelief, my own lack of focus or intention, or something else. Setting goals, writing them down, and visualizing their achievement really yields nothing negative when pursued with the right mindset.